Selenoprotein P (SeP; encoded by SELENOP) is selenium (Se)-rich plasma protein that is mainly produced in the liver. SeP functions as a Se-transport protein to deliver Se from the liver to other tissues, such as the brain and testis. The protein plays a pivotal role in Se metabolism and antioxidative defense, and it has been identified as a 'hepatokine' that causes insulin resistance in type 2 diabetes. SeP levels are increased in type 2 diabetes patients, and excess SeP impairs insulin signalling, promoting insulin resistance. Furthermore, increased levels of SeP disturb the functioning of pancreatic β cells and inhibit insulin secretion. This review focuses on the biological function of SeP and the molecular mechanisms associated with the adverse effects of excess SeP on pancreatic β cells' function, particularly with respect to redox reactions. Interactions between the liver and pancreas are also discussed.
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